Twists & turns

The Lok Sabha elections are over in Tamilnadu and so are the by-elections to 18 Assembly seats. Come 19 May, four more Assembly constituencies will go for polls. The by-elections are seen with great interest for they would decide the fate of the State government. The AIADMK needs to win just four seats to retain power in the State, while the DMK has the Herculean task of winning 21 of the 22 seats if it wants to form the government. In case neither party gets the required numbers, fresh elections will have to be held for the State Assembly.

In such a crucial scenario, there are reports that say that Assembly Speaker Dhanapal may issue a show-cause notice to Aranthangi MLA Rathinasabapathy, Vriddhachalam MLA Kalaiselvan and Kallakurichi  MLA Prabhu for they have in the past supported AMMK chief and R K Nagar MLA T T V Dhinakaran, who was expelled from the AIADMK. Based on their explanation, further action would be initiated. If the three MLAs are disqualified, this would help the ruling AIADMK in the event of a trust vote in the Tamilnadu Assembly, as it further reduces the strength of the House.

All the major parties, including the AIADMK and DMK, have announced candidates for the four Assembly constituencies where by-polls are due 19 May. Campaigning has already begun. Earlier, the EC did not announce the polling dates for three of these four segments citing pending litigation. All eyes are on 23 May, when these votes would be counted.

NT Bureau